In the middle of an average work day, I had the privilege of hearing an author speak about her journey rising after hitting rock bottom. Josie Robinson spoke with passion about her transformative prayer experience and what helped her sustain a healthy life. The simple practice of writing gratitude statements on slips of paper and putting them in a jar every day resulted in her witnessing miracles in her life. You may have read the book she wrote entitled,The Gratitude Jar. She inspired enough people with her story that she is now a full-time inspirational speaker.
During her presentation, I scribbled some notes on a piece of paper. One statement that she said really stuck out to me and wound up being underlined about three times on the paper as I thought more about it. She stated:
Live in gratitude.
Gratitude. Such a simple word, but what a complex act to entwine in every day life and live in it! To be truly grateful in the midst of pain and suffering is so hard, and that is what Jesus calls us to do. Find joy in the blessings even when the world is full of hardship. Be grateful for the day that is given to you (Psalm 118:24). We’re not called to live WITH gratitude like it’s a roommate we don’t see that often, but to live IN gratitude like it’s a part of us. It is then that our attitude, perspective, and life can be transformed!
After Josie gave her presentation, I walked up to her table to buy her book. As she was swiping my credit card, I asked her if she had to travel far to get to Minnesota. She then told me she is from my city! This made her story even more relatable to me. She’s not someone who lives far away in a different context in a different world; she’s like me! Right here in my city! My HR brain just kicked in, and it makes me think of the psychological trick that happens in hiring practices. When a candidate has similar interests or is more relatable to the hiring manager, they are often rated more favorably. When it comes to doing my own hiring, I have trained myself to combat psychological tricks like that to the best of my ability; however, I will admit that in this context, I did take her advice more to heart after our conversation. She’s an average person like me, and if she can have miracles in her life, then so can I. 🙂
My husband and I decided to write in a gratitude journal in order to try and find joy in every single day. To truly live in gratitude for our life. Although we’re still working on making it routine, it has helped immensely to sit down and focus on what we’re thankful for in that day. I’m beginning to experience gratitude as a part of me by having a true sense of joy for the little things in a day and for the big things in life as a whole. Here is my gratefulness list for today:
- I am grateful for my marriage because it gives me glimpses of God every day.
- I am grateful for the really refreshing iced coffee I got late this afternoon because I really needed a pick-me-up.
- I am grateful that I was able to help a coworker in need because it made her day better.
I had some low points today, too, for sure. But that is not what I’m choosing to focus on. I view those low points as a part of life, and my reaction is to live in gratitude for the good things. What is your list for today? If that is too daunting – What is just one thing you’re grateful for, big or small? No matter where you are in your journey to find joy, it’s never too late to approach your day with a renewed perspective. Dance in the rain today instead of drowning in the storm.